13 March 2018

Smiths Revolutionary Tracheostomy Tubes Provide Individual Fit

Medical Technology

The vision

A revolutionary tracheostomy tube that provides an individual fit for adult, paediatrics and neonatal patients.

The mission

For many patients, tracheostomy tubes represent the difference between life and death. However, for a significant percentage, their enormous benefit is tinged by a great deal of discomfort and anxiety, especially for those living with them long term.

The challenge is that patients come in all ages, shapes and sizes, and each has unique needs, so no product could ever perfectly suit everyone. Consequently, and despite clinicians’ and manufacturers’ best efforts, many patients suffer from ill-fitting tubes rubbing against the anterior or posterior wall of their trachea, causing damage, scarring and pain.

Worse, this friction puts the patient at greater risk of accidental decannulation, especially if the tube is too short, which is the primary cause of death among tracheostomised patients.

There was clear need for a radically new type of tube that could still satisfy all medical demands but also optimise patient comfort and safety.

The innovation


Lengthy experimentation pushing the boundaries of innovation by some of the world’s brightest medical engineers resulted in the patented Bivona® range of highly customisable tracheostomy tubes, from Smiths Medical.

Suitable for all patients, from neonates and paediatrics through to adults, this innovative range comes in variable horizontal and distal lengths, and is comprised of malleable, medical-grade silicon with spiral wire reinforcement. This means that each tube can be customised to conform to an individual patient’s unique anatomy without compromising the crucial airway diameter.

The tube itself is softer than alternative solutions, which significantly improves patient comfort.

It also comes with a special cuff which, when inflated, creates a seal between the tube and the trachea, protecting against aspiration and optimising respiration. When the cuff is deflated, it rests tight to the shaft of the tube, enabling the tube to be used for weaning patients from a ventilator and also aids in speaking.

These tubes are also hydrophobic and hypoallergenic, free from latex and plasticisers, and are easily cleaned.

Further, the use of silicon means the tubes can be reprocessed after 29 days’ use, up to 10 times, giving a lifecycle of almost 11 months. This is a breakthrough in a market characterised by disposables and represents a significant advantage in the homecare sector.

The Smiths effect

Today, the Smiths Medical team works closely with clinicians around the globe, using the Bivona technology to design customised tubes for patients with unique needs.

Unlike any other product on the market, this customisation can be done and delivered the same day, to minimise risk and discomfort.